Mespilus germanica

Mespilus germanica

Description: A small tree often with an almost weeping wide spreading habit. The flowers in spring are five-petaled, pollinated by bees and followed by reddish-brown fruit. The fruit are very hard and acidic. They become edible after being softened, 'bletted', by frost, or after several weeks in storage. Once softening begins the skin rapidly takes a wrinkled texture and turns dark brown, and the inside is the consistency and flavour of apple sauce and may be scooped out with a spoon. More often this is made into a jelly.

Climate/Position: Prefers warm summers and mild winters in sunny, dry locations

Height/Spread: Up to 8 metres tall, generally, it is shorter and more shrub-like than tree-like.

Soil Requirements: Slightly acidic soil

Pruning: None required

Special Requirements:

Latin name, which means German or Germanic medlar, it is indigenous to southwest Asia and also southeastern Europe, mostly the Black Sea coasts of modern Turkey. It may have been cultivated for as long as 3000 years